In Exodus 34, God introduces himself to Moses. He reveals that He is the god of compassion and mercy. He could have chosen other adjectives when describing Himself, so it’s no coincidence that these are the words He chose. Showing compassion and mercy is the forefront of who God is. He displayed it on the cross when He didn’t have to. Jesus shows it time and time again in the Gospels. We see that in Luke 8 when He shows compassion to a desperate woman.
Imagine you’ve suffered your entire life from an illness with no cure. You’ve spent everything you have trying to be healed and nothing has worked. You’d probably be pretty desperate right? So desperate, in fact, that you push your way to the front of a crowd just to touch the clothes of someone you’ve heard has the power to heal. That’s what the woman in Luke 8 did. After finding that worldly solutions could not heal her, she turned to her last option: a literal miracle. Imagine pushing your way through the crowd at the Tate bus stop at 12pm. Now imagine doing that as an outcast of society, being someone considered unclean because of a condition you didn’t ask for. That’s how worth it this woman believed God to be, and she didn’t even touch Jesus, she touched the hem of his clothes! Jesus saw that and had compassion on her.
She didn’t have to pray a special prayer, do a certain ritual, or impress God with her heart. All she did was take a risk, and God honored that risk with healing. In Luke 8:45, Jesus asks His disciples who touched Him, which seems like a silly question to the disciples considering He was surrounded by people. But He persists in finding out because He felt healing power go out of Him when the woman touched Him. A huge crowd was around Him and yet she stood out because of her faith. All this shows that our faith doesn’t go unnoticed by God. When we are willing to take a risk and take Him at his word, He shows us great compassion and responds to us.
Maybe you relate to the woman in this story because you’ve been sick. Maybe you relate because you feel unworthy of being in God’s presence. Either way, compassion and mercy is waiting for you. At the end of the story, Jesus tells the woman it is her faith that healed her, not her money, status, looks, heart, or history. Faith is the currency of heaven. It’s the thing that will set us apart from the world, and it’s the thing that connects us to God. Ask God to increase faith in you. Ask Him to take your heart to a place where you are willing to risk it all for the sake of simply knowing Him. As you lean into Him, you will experience the compassion and mercy he has for His children, for the ones who are willing to touch His hem.
Author | Emily Baker